"Under Budget, Ahead of Schedule" were the words that President Trump said at the opening of Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. this past October.
Regardless of your political views, from a business perspective this sentiment is a theme for success.
Here are some areas in which you can exceed set goals in order to be successful.
Promise customers more
All business owners say they want to deliver great customer service. Great customer service has become average; you need to go above and beyond. Some ideas for providing exceptional service:
- Doing more than promised (e.g., giving something extra in goods or services).
- Do something unexpected. I recently overheard a business’s employee say “we’re just going to discount that for you,” which totally surprised the customer.
- Complete the job before the deadline.
There are always two parts to the profit equation: what you charge and what it costs you to earn. If you reduce the latter part by cutting expenses, your profits will grow. It’s up to a business owner, in concert with others (e.g., outside CPA, inside team of employees who are knowledgeable about company costs) to trim the fat and even shave the bone.
Some ideas for watching expenses include:
- Monitor your statements (bank statements, credit card statements) every month so you can visualize where company money is going. Run lean by cutting back on discretionary expenses (e.g., instead of travel use virtual meetings).
- Limit overtime. Worker’s time-and-a-half costs you more than that; there are employment taxes and employee benefits that are tied to pay. Make it company policy to limit or ban overtime, which may require reassignments of work, retraining employees, or reassessing the work that needs to be done.
Invest for the future
Don’t be short-sighted. You may have to make investments now so that you’ll be under budget in the future. For example, instead of continuing to repair old equipment, buy new items that can improve productivity and may also save on energy costs. You may not see cost savings immediately, but you will over time.
Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth Revisited, said, “Most entrepreneurs fail because you are working IN your business rather than ON your business.” Take the time now to work on your business so that you’ll be able to be "under budget, ahead of schedule," and on the road to success.